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By Meredith Amor
Director of Communications, Barry University
October 21, 2021, Miami, Florida – The Barry University Alumni Association announced the recipients of the 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest honor granted to graduates who lead in their respective fields and simultaneously transform the community through their service.
This year’s recipients are highly accomplished in the fields of health care, education, law, and business. They embody the Barry University Core Commitments to the lifelong pursuit of knowledge and truth, promoting inclusive community, advancing social justice, and collaborative service.
The selection committee reviewed the nominations of incredible Barry University alumni and is proud to announce the following honorees:
Inclusive Community Award: Inaki G. Bent, DO, MBA, MS ’05 – Attending Physician, Corrections Health Services (CHS) of Jackson Health System
A South Florida native, Dr. Bent was the first in his family to attend college and his impact extends far beyond the hospital walls. His nonprofit, MediQUES, is paving the way for underrepresented students to pursue medicine, providing mentorship to those interested in medicine, dentistry, and veterinary medicine.
Collaborative Service Award: Lisa Bisogno, PhD ’12 - Associate Dean, College of Education, Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, Oklahoma
Dr. Bisogno is a second-generation educator whose passion for the field and for service dates back to her childhood. In addition to her leadership role in higher education, she is nurturing future educators by teaching high school students pro-bono, sparking the same love for the field that she developed at a young age.
Social Justice Award: Lenora M. Easter, JD ’07 - Criminal Defense Attorney, The Bronx Defenders
A career public defender, Lenora has made social justice her life’s work. She developed the concept for and became the Co-Team Leader and now Supervisor of The Bronx Defenders’ (BxD) groundbreaking Early Defense Team. The team advocates for their clients before their legal issues become legal cases, thus minimizing, stabilizing, and in some cases preventing further systemic harm. Lenora also speaks on local and national panels, conducting “Know Your Rights” informationals and lobbying on key bills concerning criminal justice reform.
Knowledge and Truth Award: Avon D. King, BS ’05, MBA - First Vice President and Complex Business Service Officer, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management
A lifelong learner, Avon continually drives development and innovation in his chosen field while supporting the education and development of the next generation of leaders. He chairs the scholarship committee as a director on the Barry Alumni Board, regularly participates as a judge for The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) yearly stock market challenge, and coaches through the Optimist Club.
Faculty and Staff Alumni Award: Eileen Egan-Hineline, BS ’80, MS ’99, RN-BC, Director of Student Health Services, Barry University
Eileen is a proud Barry alumna who returned to serve as the university’s Director of Student Health Services after more than a decade of working as a surgical nurse. Now in her 30th year back at Barry, she is driven to ensure all students have access to quality health care. Her next project will be a focus on “Continuity of Care,” aimed at reducing disparities faced by children by building nationwide quality primary school programs that lead into college health programs.
The award ceremony will take place during Alumni Homecoming Weekend on Barry University’s Main Campus in Miami Shores at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, November 12, 2021. The event is open to the public. Register at: https://alumni.barry.edu/e/distinguished-alumni-awards/.